RetroSpective – The Essentials

So Rings & Coins is over 50 articles in and over 12 reviews richer.  So, as such I thought this would be a good time to quickly recap on the games that we have deemed essential for any retro gamer.  Just remember, the list may be small now, but there are a lot more essential 8 & 16-bit experiences out there and we here will be constantly adding to this list.  First though, in no particular order let me talk you through Rings & Coins’ current must play games.

Essentials #1: Streets of Rage

Streets of Rage Info

From the gameplay, to the iconic chiptune soundtrack, to the bosses and the frustration, I would happily play this game multiple times again.  Its excellent pacing and addictive nature, through the simplicity of its gameplay and intuitive controls, mean that just like myself, you’ll find yourself hunting lives and desperately preserving continues just to keep playing.  Streets of Rage is an essential part of any Mega Drive/Genesis collection and an absolute must play, quite honestly this is a game that has become timeless.

To get the full lowdown, head over to the complete review at the following link: RetroSpective – Streets of Rage

Streets of Rage Score

Essentials #2: Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2 Info

There are no games that are perfect, but this game is as close as you get.  Few flaws are present (e.g. boobeam trap in Wily’s castle), and those that do exist just add to the charm of the game.  This game proves that a great game is great forever, no matter its age.  This is a one of those game’s that is still attracting new players all these years later, no easy feat.  Mega Man 2 proves that if you don’t over complicate things and just deliver great gameplay, great visuals, and great audio, you’re sure to make a game that will stand the test of time.

To get the full lowdown, head over to the complete review at the following link: RetroSpective – Mega Man 2


Essentials #3: The Mysterious Murasame Castle

Murasame Info

It’s criminal how this never came west, and childhoods were worse for it, making this essential even for fans who grew up on 8-bit.  The Mysterious Murasame Castle still today offers one of the most highly detailed and polished experiences that can be had from the 8-bit era.  It also offers a wealth of gameplay, along the lines of games such as The Legend of Zelda and Dark Souls, true praise indeed.  Due to it’s high difficulty and explorative gameplay mechanics, this game will take a long time to beat and will require high amounts of dedication.  Yet you’ll want take on the challenge due to the highly detailed and engrossing world that Nintendo has built, alongside the gameplay mechanics such as the save system, that encourage you to just have one more go.  Though to be honest you’ll want more than just one more go.

To get the full lowdown, head over to the complete review at the following link: RetroSpective – The Mysterious Murasame Castle

Murasame Review

Essentials #4: Contra

Contra Info

Ultimately Contra is a classic game from the 8-bit catalogue and one that you will not only want to keep playing, but one that you will want to keep coming back to, despite its punishing difficulty.  It’s simple and intuitive gameplay, alongside its presentation, mean that it lasts long in the memory. Despite having to be near perfect in order to succeed, the game is so fun and rewarding that you’ll keep playing.  Eventually finding yourself approaching the level of twitch control perfection needed to take down the Red Falcon Organisation.  Contra is a classic childhood game for anyone from the 8-bit era, and one that anyone who missed it should definitely grab and experience for themselves.

To get the full lowdown, head over to the complete review at the following link: RetroSpective – Contra

Contra Review

Essentials #5: Punch-Out!!

Punch-Out Info

The little touches present throughout Punch-Out!! simply show how much care and attention Nintendo puts into developing long-lasting experiences.  Despite its simplicity, the depth within that will make you want to keep coming back time after time.  It’s also a game that grows with you like many of Nintendo’s best.  Ultimately, on the surface Punch-Out!! may seem like a simplistic boxing game aimed at American sports fans in the late 80s.  However, what Nintendo actually created was a deep and engaging experience, one that requires quick, puzzle-solving thinking, and even quicker reflexes.  Moreover, the added touches to the characters really engage you with the experience, creating lasting memories and making you want to keep coming back.

To get the full lowdown, head over to the complete review at the following link: RetroSpective – Punch-Out!!

Punch-Out!! Summary

So, there you have it.  These are the retro gaming experiences that we here at Rings & Coins have deemed essential for all gamers.  Just remember though there’s a long way to go and we’ve only just started!  So look forward to more additions to the Essentials club going forward.

Sophia Aubrey Drake

A lifelong gamer with a fanatical love of all things Nintendo and Japan. So much so that she's written a thesis on one and lived in the other. Currently on a quest to catch every last Pokémon. Follow me on twitter via @DivaXChill or @RingsandCoins.

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